The 7 Deadly Sins Of Best-Selling Authors

Help! Overwhelming success is ruining my legacy!

Or at least it might, had I any actual success to speak of. As of right now, I have to say my legacy is looking fairly safe.

But the other day, as I was perusing the all-powerful culture sections of the broadsheets, a thought suddenly struck me. Are successful authors derided without merit? Why are they hated so much?

Envy, of course. But is it something else? Is there a hipster tendency in all of us?

We’re led to believe that good literature must be important, and no literature can be important if it’s popular on a mass scale. In deriding popular literature, it helps if there are deficiencies in the writing to poke fun at (yes you, E.L. James) or if it’s considered too niche to count, regardless of cross genre appeal (RIP Terry Prachett).

But in general, achieving the status of bestseller before winning any literary prizes is enough to keep successful authors away from the inferno of critical acclamation forever.

There are many great writers whose legacy is dubious, in that they might be declared culturally significant only about twenty-five years after they die, if they’re lucky. So what are they doing wrong?

The 7 Deadly Sins Of Successful Authors

1. Writing too many books

The only thing worse than selling too many books, is writing too many. Stephen King. Jodi Picoult. John Grisham. Anne Rice. Ken Follett. J.K. Rowling. Judy Blume. All successful. None revered. In some cases, an author’s greatest sin is prolificacy. Apparently, you’re not allowed to write too many great books. And even worse, is if you write some great works, but bridge them with books that are not quite as good as the great ones. That wipes out your whole canon. Much better to write/publish only 1 truly great book, than 10 merely popular ones.

2. Being too well-known/popular

“To hell with his sparkling prose and vivid, gripping plotlines. Once I saw that woman reading his book on the bus wearing a Penney’s tracksuit, I says to myself, it’s all ruined, says I. The seething, unthinking underbelly of society has soiled it with its grotty fingers. Once they start talking about it in their pyjamas, it’s cultural death.”

3. Making it look too easy

Many of our literary greats take aons to painfully churn out heavy tomes of weighty wordiness. And it looks it. Sometimes it can seem as though the author wrote the book in their own blood, etched upon paper made of skin and bone, bound with the tears of a thousand desperate childhoods. Books that take forever to write can often take forever to read, too. Conversely, some best-selling authors can make it look like they dictated their book one rainy Wednesday afternoon whilst reclining on a day bed, à la Dame Barbara Cartland. It doesn’t mean they did. It might just mean they’re bloody good at what they do.

4. Earning too much money

Nothing will kill literary approbation quicker than making money from your books. Everybody knows that each thousand an author earns knocks 1 point off their IQ, and reduces the probability of their ever being mentioned in a college course by 2.654%. Millionaire authors are in fact assigned helpers to aid them with putting on socks, and cutting up their food.

5. Drawing characters too well

Take Maeve Binchy or Marian Keyes, dismissed as ‘women’s fiction’ (on a good day) or ‘chick-lit’ (on a day as bitter as lemon getting dumped on his birthday). But for many, their chronicling of the human condition is just as important as that of Hilary Mantel or Don De Lillo, and often far more astute. People don’t realise how difficult it is to write something which strikes chords in the hearts of so many people, without constantly submitting to cliché. There are few clichés in Keyes’ books she didn’t invent herself, but she often commits the cardinal sin of writing recognisable characters. And don’t even get me started on Binchy.

The 7 Deadly Sins of Successful Authors

6. Being too funny/shocking/sad/etc

Obviously, any book which elicits a strong response from a large number of people is too proletarian to be permissable in polite society. Books which make women cry are the worst offenders, taking them away from their own problems to cry over somebody else’s – disgraceful! A truly great work of art must keep its distance. For instance, I’ve read literary prizewinners which are supposed to be funny, and never laughed once. The closest I got was thinking ‘Oh, yes. I can see that he is technically making a joke here. Very good. Yes.’ But really funny stuff that makes people laugh out loud? Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, Tom Sharpe, your one behind Bridget Jones? Nah. Not good enough.*

*One exception here is Roddy Doyle, who is funny, successful and a literary deity. To be fair, he could disprove almost all my arguments here, so we just won’t talk about him. ‘Kay?

7. Adapting too easily to the screen

Characters and a story that take to the screen like a cat to fame on YouTube? Just not good enough. Exciting battles, set pieces, denouements? Pathetic potboilers. No work of art can be considered important unless it involves a very large dollop of undramatisable internal struggle and pontification. For example, Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice could have been murdered but for the fact that Luchino Visconti’s film adaptation was happily devoid of anything happening at all, and therefore considered to be the book’s equal in cultural importance.

Over to you. Are there authors you believe would be cultural royalty, if only they weren’t so bloody successful?

The 7 Deadly Sins of Best-Selling Authors

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  67 comments for “The 7 Deadly Sins Of Best-Selling Authors

  1. July 16, 2015 at 8:22 am

    Brilliant post!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. July 16, 2015 at 8:40 am

    Subject matter apart, I would say Neil Gaiman. He is a real life star, which means he will never be taken seriously. The lit’ry world is not likely to fall at the feet of the writer of Sandman, notwithstanding the brilliant writing. And of course there’s his lovely co-authorship with the sainted Terry Pratchett of Good Omens. I rest my case.

    Liked by 4 people

    • July 16, 2015 at 9:27 am

      I’d agree. He is revered by some of his fans, but because it’s genre fiction, that’s not allowed to count. He should get drunk some night and write down everything that’s said to him. I’m sure it would win a prize.

      Liked by 1 person

    • July 16, 2015 at 9:51 am

      Ooh, Gaiman! Good example – I just love his work!

      Liked by 3 people

  3. July 16, 2015 at 9:07 am

    Enjoyed this post Tara, very good stuff

    Liked by 2 people

  4. July 16, 2015 at 9:42 am

    By not mentioning Dan Brown does that mean even you won’t go that far and cut him some slack.

    But you’re right…. to an extent. Some authors see storytelling as a discipline as much as an art and their book sales show it. I don’t begrudge them their success and wish people hated me for having too much money.

    However, every now and again someone and something does become the exception to the rule, and I suspect if 50 Shades of Grey wasn’t a porno book (without photos) it probably wouldn’t have sold 50 billion copies. (I shall now go and switch off correction suggestions in Firefox before I strangle it.)

    Liked by 3 people

    • July 16, 2015 at 10:27 am

      Yup. Even I won’t go that far with Dan Brown. But to be fair, that’s not entirely his fault. I read The Holy Blood And The Holy Grail when I was 19, so when The Da Vinci Code came out I was only really able to think ‘oh look. Someone’s gone and made a story out of THBATHG. That’s a great idea. Why didn’t anyone think of it before?’

      As for 50 Shades, I did intimate that unfair derision didn’t count if the writing was poor. Even I won’t defend EL James. I still maintain those books were only popular because 50% of women just didn’t know that the likes of Mills & Boon had already been graphic in the bedroom department for years. If they’d known what else was available, they wouldn’t have gone near it.

      Liked by 3 people

      • July 16, 2015 at 3:34 pm

        I heard a sentence from The Da Vinci Code read on BBC Radio. One sentence. The BBC is full of cultural snobs (cultural snobs who think Melvyn Bragg writes novels. Hah!) and no doubt the sentence had been chosen because it was so awful — but it worked because I knew then I’d never open a Dan Brown book and I never have. But of course the thrust of your post is correct — Dan Brown isn’t a bad writer because he sells a lot; he’s a bad writer because he writes shite. He can’t help it, of course, any more than a leper can help it when his nose falls off, but I wouldn’t (knowingly) fuck a leper* and I won’t read Dan Brown. OTOH I know writers who sell almost nothing and that doesn’t make them good — they sell almost nothing because they, too, write shite. But to my point — could you please get that field of oilseed rape off your blog? I suffer from hay fever.

        *Yes, yes, PCers, I know how awful it is to say you wouldn’t fuck a leper. I can just imagine the feelings of low self-esteem that would attack any leper reading my hateful and bigoted remark. That’s my position, though, and I’m not budging.

        Liked by 3 people

        • July 16, 2015 at 3:48 pm

          But… but… it’s in season, John! Could you not take some eh, white space antihistamine? Just don’t drive, or operate heavy machinery, maybe.

          To be honest, I never thought Dan Brown was that awful when I was reading him, what is it, 15 years ago now, but I didn’t think he was that brilliant, either. I don’t think anyone can deny that he had some pretty good ideas, though.

          Liked by 1 person

          • July 16, 2015 at 6:36 pm

            Ah, but…you can only have been 12 then. He probably seems more smelly now.

            Liked by 2 people

            • July 16, 2015 at 8:42 pm

              Oh, I don’t know. It was one of those times when everyone in my family was reading the same book. There’s a kind of nostalgic cuteness to it I can’t shake.

              Like

              • July 16, 2015 at 8:48 pm

                Your family was all reading Dan Brown? All of your family was reading Dan Brown? Have you ever thought of finding a new family?

                Liked by 1 person

                • July 16, 2015 at 8:53 pm

                  It was rural Ireland in the early noughties. There wasn’t much going on. By the time we heard there’d been an economic recovery, it was too late to adopt pretension, and we were confined to popular culture. They were tough times, but I don’t like to harp on about the past.

                  Like

                  • July 17, 2015 at 9:27 am

                    “Rural Ireland”. Two words that say so much.

                    Liked by 2 people

                    • July 17, 2015 at 1:05 pm

                      They do, but not quite as much as, say, ‘more strychnine’

                      Like

      • July 16, 2015 at 7:33 pm

        Mills & Boon graphic? What is the world coming too? No wonder my Aunty Hegerty won’t speak to me after all those second hand books I gave her last Christmas.

        Dan Brown: The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail. He must be rich to have afforded a lawyer that won him a plagiarism trial as obvious as the hair on my head. (Allegedly.)

        Liked by 1 person

        • July 16, 2015 at 8:45 pm

          Yes. I allegedly agree, Chris. That thing you said which had nothing to do with litigiousness could certainly be seen to be agreeable.

          And yes, we really need to spread the word on what’s going on in M&B and their cousins. If only everyone had known about it, this bloody EL James thing might never have happened.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. July 16, 2015 at 9:50 am

    My darling, things are really simple. The world is divided in two groups. Writers more successful than me, and the rest.

    Obviously, the first group consists entirely of talentless hacks who have sold their soul to [insert favorite dark force name here] in exchange for their undeserving fame and fortune (did I mention they’re hacks?).

    If they find critical acclaim on top of fame and fortune, that can only mean they have also promised [said dark force] the souls of their extended family, too. Probably those of their readers and blog followers as well. Which is why I never follow any of them and burn their books in ceremonial fires every full moon. Can’t be too careful these days.

    Oh, and what do you mean, envy? Fountains of talent such as myself have no time for such base emotions.

    Liked by 8 people

    • July 16, 2015 at 10:31 am

      Hahaha!! This is all so clear to me now, Nicholas. Why didn’t I realise all this before? Obviously, your genius in the commenting stakes also rules you out from critical acclaim. Sorry about that. Keep the ceremonial fires burning. I’m glad you aren’t bitter. It’s so hard to maintain superiority with the acrid taste of bile in one’s mouth.

      Liked by 4 people

  6. July 16, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Tara, you just crack me up! The woman on the train in the Penney’s track suit??? Lol! And the other in her pyjamas? You forgot to mention the Uggs! But yes, you are spot on, and I have pondered this often myself. Snobbish elitism is found in every creative field, unfortunately.

    Liked by 3 people

    • July 16, 2015 at 10:35 am

      It is, Ali, isn’t it? I remember the blogging wars of ’07, when the image-reliant bloggers were dismissed out of hand by the text-heavy bloggers, resulting in the Great Noise of ’08, when the bloggers who didn’t make it on to Huff Post all threatened to unplug the Internet until they were distracted by the widespread adoption of the GIF.

      Just kidding. (I wasn’t blogging in ’07.)

      Liked by 1 person

  7. July 16, 2015 at 10:11 am

    Critical acclaim and commercial success have always been odd bedfellows. You’re right that there is a form of snobbery from critics where if the proles have enjoyed a book, it can’t have any literary merit.
    My favourite, though, is the revisionist critic, who having spent years deriding a commercially successful writer suddenly decides they have merit after all. This has happened recently with Stephen King.
    Personally, I believe there are two types of books, those you enjoy and those you don’t.

    Liked by 5 people

    • July 16, 2015 at 10:37 am

      I wholeheartedly agree. Dylan. If I haven’t enjoyed a book, there won’t be a place in my cultural heart for the author. Mind you, it doesn’t mean I’ll deride them either. Unless they are James Patterson aka Ghostwriter, or EL James. I’ll slag them off all I like.

      Liked by 3 people

      • July 16, 2015 at 10:43 am

        I enjoyed James Patterson novels when he wrote them himself. I’ve never read EL James and have no plans to.

        Liked by 2 people

        • July 16, 2015 at 10:50 am

          I wouldn’t, Dylan. Life’s too short. And I too happily read JP early in the noughties, when he was behaving himself. This co-writing nonsense is a swizz. (Plus I reckoned Alex Cross ran out of steam. There’s only so many times you can listen to a man say the same thing about his Nana’s cooking before you call time out.)

          Liked by 3 people

  8. July 16, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    I just want to be sure I understand your meaning in #1: If prolificacy equates with profligacy, then my legacy is safe, because, due to my late start, I probably won’t live long enough to write more than 3 to 5 of the 10 books I’ve thought about writing, and which no one will admit to reading, anyway; thus I will escape critical … pontificacy. (Heheheh, made that one up all by myself, I did.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 16, 2015 at 3:46 pm

      Er… typo, Christine, my apologies, thanks for letting me know, have corrected it now! I meant prolificacy, which isn’t quite the same thing as profligacy, as I don’t think writing any amount of books could be called needless waste, unless you were doing it on 300-year-old embroidered silk, or a first edition of The Canterbury Tales, or something! Still, I’m sure some might disagree…

      Liked by 1 person

      • July 16, 2015 at 3:56 pm

        I’m sure that, in some circles, being prolific in paperback is considered profligate, especially if the minds running in those circles believe that e-books are more virtuous; hence the pontificating….

        Liked by 2 people

  9. July 16, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    About critics, after having been oft burned, I tend to use their declamations (with movies at least) as a gauge of what I’ll watch. For example, if they are raving about a particular film: “Must See!”, ” Movie of the year!!”, Hysterical!!!” etc., I consider that I’ve been put on notice that said movie will either depress the heck out of me, infuriate me or disgust me. It often seems they’re just practical jokers at my expense! If you want to get on their good side, write a horribly negative, bitingly cynical, utterly amoral p.o.s. Sorry critics. That’s not too say that holding a mirror to society can’t be beneficial; certainly it can. I just don’t like to wallow in negativity.

    I often read that once you finish one book you should immediately begin writing another. I’m not sure that’s good advice. I prefer your suggestion: “Much better to write/publish only 1 truly great book, than 10 merely popular ones”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 16, 2015 at 8:49 pm

      Yep, I’m the same with most critics. There are a handful I agree with about 35% of the time, but a whole bunch I disagree with 100% of the time. I don’t think all critics are unnecessarily negative. Actually, in Ireland, they tend to be unjustifiably positive about the most obscure things. More cultural snobbery, I suppose.

      I take it that your approval for my ironic suggestion is ironic. Does that make irony squared? 😀

      Like

  10. July 16, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    Not just writing. When I was at art college studying sculpture, there was a stand-out student in my year. We all knew, the staff all knew; every piece he turned out was original, inventive, visually fascinating, acute, a talking point, a thing of delight… BUT he worked fast and he used whatever came to hand – stone or debris from the studio floor. AND he made it look easy, work poured out of his hands – clearly he wasn’t working hard enough or with sufficient depth. He did get his first (as did several other less deserving students), and I was delighted to see his work in the Whitechapel several years later. I still have some pieces.

    Liked by 3 people

    • July 17, 2015 at 12:04 am

      Perhaps the secret to his (I hope) success was to work away from prying eyes and declare it took him quadruple the time. That’s clever. I won’t tell anyone if you won’t.

      Like

  11. July 17, 2015 at 3:43 am

    I read mostly science fiction and fantasy, and sometimes it seems that nothing in those genres can be called worthwhile unless the author loudly declares their work NOT sci-fi/fantasy. You know the types: “MY novels are not science fiction, because MY books have Literary Merit.” (At the very least, authors who pull that stunt ought to have their genre-specific awards revoked. If they say they don’t write science fiction, they’re not qualified to win an award FOR science fiction, are they?)

    I happen to think the ideas in books such as The Hunger Games could be important, if readers paid attention to those ideas and didn’t stop at surface things like “Oh, I hope Katniss ends up with THIS guy” or “Cool — combat and explosions and stuff!” Wouldn’t be the first time a science fiction story had a lasting effect on our culture. Alas, it probably won’t happen.

    I don’t give a rodent’s backside about the poor writing in James’ books. I refuse to read them because I object to the content. (Cue the “you’re a misogynist because you won’t read a novel glorifying abusive relationships” accusations in 3…2…)

    Liked by 2 people

    • July 17, 2015 at 1:01 pm

      Completely agree, Thomas – I don’t see why people are snobbish about science fiction and fantasy. Even at its pulpiest it’s generally more literary than pulpy romance. And as for 50 Shades, I do care about the poor writing. I care about it as much as the woefully poor understanding of subject (according to BDSM practitioners), the plagiarism, and the worst plotting and characterisation this side of Acorn Antiques.

      Liked by 1 person

      • July 18, 2015 at 1:15 am

        I didn’t mean to imply that I’m indifferent to bad writing, etc. (You read my blog; you know how I feel about that sort of thing!) However, without having read any of that book for myself, I am not qualified to comment on the quality (or lack thereof) in the way the words are strung together. I can overlook a LITTLE bit of bad grammar in a good story, but I cannot ignore the seeming ENDORSEMENT of abuse that James’ novels contain. (As for the plagiarism thing… I don’t at all care for the Twilight series, either, but I do somewhat respect Stephenie Meyer for insisting that E. L. James NOT keep Fifty Shades as a blatant Twilight fanfic. I don’t approve of unauthorized fanfic, no matter what I think of the original work.)

        Liked by 1 person

        • July 19, 2015 at 4:17 pm

          I’m not sure James knew what she was endorsing, Thomas. And I mean that in the nice way as well as the supercilious one. As for fanfic, my jury’s still out on that score. I think it’s an interesting way for very young writers to get started. But middle-aged ones…?!

          Like

  12. July 18, 2015 at 11:34 am

    On the subject of quantity and quality I’m loathe to do this, but must cite the almost apocryphal alleged quip between Jeffrey Archer and Jilly Cooper at some award ceremony, along the lines of – ‘I bet they’d trade the gong for our sales figures…’
    I’m a big Jilly fan, less so for JA, but you have to hand it to him that he writes a good merchantable yarn 😛
    And then there’s Terry Pratchett (RIP and GNU)… ’nuff said – it CAN be done! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • July 19, 2015 at 4:23 pm

      If only Terry (I’m sure he should be St. Terry) hadn’t double faulted himself by writing loads in a genre ignored by the literati. I really hope he liked money and the adoration from readers because whatever he got, he deserved more.

      Like

      • July 19, 2015 at 4:59 pm

        Weeeell – he has these Discworld Conventions going on all over the globe (including the Emerald Isle – in Cork this year) so his fans (still) love him big time and he was made Honorary Prof at a number of UK & Eire Unis, with reciprocal arrangements for bona fide dons to also take a Chair at Unseen University, so he was a proper academic wunderkind too!!!!! 😉

        Definitely St. Terry regardless of his humanist leanings 😀

        Liked by 1 person

        • July 19, 2015 at 5:41 pm

          I love the idea of starchy academics slogging it out for plum positions in the Unseen University. I’d be gunning for a foot in the door of the library, myself.

          Like

  13. July 19, 2015 at 7:03 am

    I was on a forum recently and a girl had the biggest of issues with Jodi Picoult working nine to five at books that contained subject matter that she had decided was about to blow up or had blown up in recent times. She was beyond disgusted and declared her a sell-out, an insult to writers, everything, but you know what they say about writing ultimately being a business? The thing I think I’d find sad if I was one of the ‘writes an abundance of books’ authors(and believe me there’s not much, they get to write for a living!), is that for most of them, people don’t remember their books. They may be amazing writers, but in the future you’ll inevitably have the ‘which one was that?’ question. Take John Grisham. I’ve read a good 80% of his books and yet when I hear someone talking about one, I’ll think ‘I think I read this one …’ or with other writers I’ll remember titles, or a rough sketch of their subject matter. It’s a pity, because I think for the most part in the writing world the people who have reached the top have earned it for the effort they put in, the work they’ve done. People mightn’t like their work but they can’t deny that they sat at a pc, laptop or typewriter, and slogged it out, that they submitted again and again…One last example is Cecilia Ahern. I recently got a taxi driver who, because he was talking about Bertie, started to slate her, he HATED her, what a little leech she was, how could someone with her name get famous? I climbed up on my pedestal, with a big grin and got going, telling him that maybe she’d been noticed as a result of her name, but, given the amount of books she’d written and the quality of them, she had every right to be where she was (I left out that I used to find her writing just a little bit too english essayish). Had to climb down after a while, sometimes you’ve got to just let people at it, I mean, did you know that ‘those writers don’t even pay tax?’ The literary world should just go join Jeffery Archer in jail;)

    Liked by 2 people

    • July 19, 2015 at 4:31 pm

      I’m not a fan of Cecilia Ahern’s stuff either, I don’t enjoy it, but when she’s slagged off I always think of the Germans. They couldn’t give a donkey’s dangleberry who her father is and she sells besquillions of books there. I know what you mean about John Grisham but I was enthralled by The Firm etc back in the 90s and then I remember being very pleasantly surprised by A Painted House more recently, so he’s able to change it up a bit, at least.

      Anyone who is successful in either music or writing is a bloody genius. They climbed the double mountain of finishing the thing and selling the thing, and emerged conqueror in an unknown country. In my world, they deserve buns. Lot of buns.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. July 19, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    Well, given the state of things, may I be the first to wish you many years of no success to speak of at all. You’ll be spectacularly mediocre forever and then, hopefully, win the Nobel.

    Liked by 2 people

    • July 19, 2015 at 4:35 pm

      Aw, Naptime. I’m all choked up. I’ve never been more gratified by being wished less success. Although I think the Nobel is safe from me. There’s no way I’d make it to the age required for such schmoozing without grossly insulting everyone I’d ever met.

      Liked by 1 person

      • July 21, 2015 at 5:08 pm

        How could the Nobel committee pass over such a brilliant yet completely misunderstood and unappreciated author, such as yourself? You, alone, have figured out the pathway to brilliance:
        Sell no books.
        True genius is never appreciated in its own time.

        Liked by 1 person

        • July 21, 2015 at 5:15 pm

          I know, Naptime – I did make a major slip-up, though: I actually wrote some books. The most ingenious genius would both write no books and sell no books, yet still be nominated for the prize. I’m working on it. I can still cover my tracks as long as I don’t publish anything.

          Liked by 1 person

          • July 23, 2015 at 5:08 pm

            You’re right, I can’t believe I didn’t see it. It’s not too late to use a pseudonym. You might still have a shot.

            Liked by 1 person

  15. July 19, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    Reblogged this on theowlladyblog.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. July 20, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Great post, Tara, and I’m with you all the way about Roddy D.
    I read a lot of poetry books. It seems they escape much of the makarkey that goes on with novels.
    Must say Billy Collins is one who fits the bill of making it look like he scribbled a poem in the time it took me to comment here.

    Liked by 2 people

    • July 20, 2015 at 10:44 am

      I think you introduced me to Billy’s poetry on your blog – his ‘Advice to Writers’ poem. Poetry is one of those areas where the simplest-looking are the most fiendishly difficult to write, and I like his simplicity very much. I’m sure he suffers from snobbery in some circles despite all the accolades – nothing like the arts for bitchiness (except maybe academia)!

      Liked by 1 person

      • July 20, 2015 at 9:59 pm

        I was only wondering the other day if men can be ‘bitchy’ or is there another word for them. Your just the woman to know the answer to that kind of question.

        Liked by 1 person

        • July 20, 2015 at 10:46 pm

          Oh, they most certainly can. I’ve worked with many and gone out with a few more…there’s something about a man delighting in slagging someone off whilst trying to get you to jump on the bandwagon with him which can only be described as bitchy!

          Liked by 1 person

  17. July 20, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Very prolific and highly successful popular authors are suspect in the eyes of the literati who believe these authors have merely stumbled upon a winning formula and keep churning it out with minor tweaks (names, places etc) here and there.

    What has struck me are the numbers of authors (mainly I think North American) who list at the end of their books pages of acknowledgements to universities and university departments, people highly regarded in their field, people in major libraries and research institutes, pathologists, politicians, police, experts in almost every field you could name including travel and places, with not a few grants, bursaries and helping financial hands, as well as the financing of numerous assistants. The question all these acknowledgements raise in my mind is – Who actually wrote the book?

    Liked by 2 people

    • July 20, 2015 at 3:11 pm

      Depends on the book, I think. If it’s non-fiction, it’s good research. If it’s fiction I’m sure it only means one author but it can often also mean one hell of a mess!

      Like

  18. July 21, 2015 at 2:34 am

    Oh and I’d sell me first born to be considered any but preferably all of the above (You excluded EL James. Won’t associate with her crowd but any the rest…)Shameless tart, I know… 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • July 21, 2015 at 11:59 am

      Shameless, Jackie? Never. It’s purely pragmatic. What’s wrong with entertaining people the way they want to be entertained? We can’t all be snobs. If we were, we’d all have shelves full of books we never read!

      Like

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